Our Lead Data Scientist, Mike, shares his thoughts on the official end date of Google’s Universal Analytics.
The introduction of Google Analytics 4 in October 2020 had a lot of buzz about it – mainly around how different it was from the current Universal Analytics. Because of this, I believe there has been a very slow uptake in using GA4. So, it comes as no surprise that Google has announced that they will be turning off Universal Analytics.
The 1st July 2023 is the official date Universal Analytics will stop collecting hit data and then there will have a six month grace period to access your data. For Google Analytics 360 this date is the 1st October 2023.
What does this mean?
This means it is more important than ever to set up your GA4 account if you haven’t done so already. This is to start collecting data and for you to understand how to use GA4 in comparison to Universal Analytics. This transition period will help you understand how to use this new version of Google Analytics. This will require you to review your current tracking and build out the required reports you need within GA4.
Ideally, getting GA4 up and running at least one year before the turn off date would be key to making sure you have year on year data. I don’t think you can wait to start implementing this exactly one year before, as the tracking setup is slightly different to the Universal Analytics setup. What I mean by this is, by default, GA4 collect more information and everything is defined as an event; a page view, a click, a scroll, which means you’ll be collecting more data within Google Analytics. Collecting more/additional data will mean the reports you set up will require you to filter to exactly what you need, and understanding this will be part of the setup and learning how it works.
GA4 – Google Analytics 360
A few people have asked if there is going to be a GA4 360 and does it exist? The main question for this is because of new features in GA4 which were only there in Google Analytics 360. Yes this is still going to exist however there have been a few changes made and this is around the feature limits. More about this can be found on the Google website, where they go into the details of these limits and the options of upgrading and downgrading from 360.
To some people, this change might seem a lot. So, if you require any help please get in touch.